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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 June, 2005, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
'Christian anger' over gay parade
Belfast Gay pride parade
Activists say the parade has always been peaceful
The Parades Commission is to decide whether Belfast's Gay Pride parade will go ahead as planned.

The march, due to take place on 6 August, has been held in the city centre for the past 14 years.

However, following concerns raised by some Christian groups, the police have passed the matter on to the commission for consideration.

Andie Thomson from Gay Pride said the parade has always been peaceful and brought trade and tourism to the city.

"It's open to everybody, it is a colourful and wonderful day out," he said.

"It is one of the few parades in Northern Ireland that really I can't see any bone of contention about."

'Offensive''

However, Jonathan Larner of the protest group "Stop the Parade" said it was "offensive".

"Our outlook on this parade is a wholly peaceful one, we find the whole parade morally offensive," he said.

"As evangelical Christians we believe what the bible says regarding sodomy - that it is a sin - and for that reason we want to oppose a parade that we see is promoting a sinful lifestyle."

The Parades Commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions on whether or not restrictions should be imposed on controversial parades during Northern Ireland's marching season.




SEE ALSO:
Hundreds attend gay pride parade
08 Aug 04 |  Northern Ireland


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